Zimbabwe has added a new chapter in its storied monetary policy history, with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) announcing that it will be introducing new ZWL$10 and ZWL$20 notes with effect from Tuesday and the first week of June 2020, respectively.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

“The $10 banknote will commence circulating on Tuesday May 19, 2020; and the $20 banknote will be in circulation by the first week of June 2020,” RBZ governor John Mangudya said in a statement.

The central bank has also announced new withdrawal limits of $1 000 per person, up from $300 with effect on May 19.

“Banks have been directed to ensure that the withdrawal limits are strictly observed. 

“The bank will not tolerate any abuse of currency and will decisively deal with any such abuse in terms of the law,” Mangudya said.

Specimen copies of the new notes

Online platform, Zimlive reported on Thursday that a plane carrying 60 tonnes of freshly-printed higher denomination bond notes arrived into the country from Germany.

In the February 2020 Monetary Policy Statement, the RBZ advised the gradual injecting of additional notes and coins into the economy to lessen the inconvenience caused by the shortages of physical cash.

As at the end of last year, there was ZWL$1,1 billion in circulation, representing 3.2% of total banking sector deposits of ZW$34.5 billion at the time.

The need for the new notes comes as the existing ZWL$2 and ZWL$5 notes are valueless in real terms, worth about 8 and 20 US cents, respectively, as a result of the continued devaluation of the local currency.

Regarding the new notes, the ZWL$10 and ZWL$20 are worth 40 and 80 US cents, respectively.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has announced plans to introduce a ZWL$50 this year.

Zimbabwe abandoned its currency amid hyperinflation in 2008.

Ten years later, the country tried to restore its currency, but the measures have only helped to stoke  inflation and raise the spectre of a return of hyperinflation.

The year on year inflation rate for April is estimated at 676%.

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